BART to Calaveras

Well, Sherie and I have signed up for two 100 mile centuries. So we need to keep the training miles up.

This week Sherie rode up the hill a couple times while Ben did running (will this cross training help?) for some base. But we need a longer ride on the weekend. So…

We had a really fun time at the “Company Picnic” in Tilden on Friday evening. A good time was had by all; you know, a wine, women, and song kind of time. With lots potluck food, chocolate desserts, and wine and distilled spirits too. It made us slow to rise on Saturday morning, but we eventually dragged our bodies to the El Cerrito Plaza BART station. Destination: Fremont.

A favorite ride for us is Calaveras Road, from Milpitas to Sunol. (Basically the reverse of this route, with some variations on each end.) In fact, this has become our preferred direction, although it forces the rider to have a boring hour through the south-east bay suburbs to begin the ride. And the cyclist then needs to climb the steep Calaveras Wall, famous for its few hundred meters at what must be about 15%. But then one is suddenly in a watershed without houses, just the loops and traverses snaking along the hillside above the reservoir. And the cyclist has the cooler temperatures of morning in the warmer micro-climates of the hills in the south bay, and avoids the Oakland hills early in the day which so often drip with fog. (Some pictures from our earlier trip on this route, in the other direction, are in the blog here.)

Above the Calaveras wall, we felt great, powering past several Teams in Training, with their captains waiting, cars with aid stations, and panting cyclists. Glad to see them out there, but so happy we both now have the fitness to climb past them and enjoy miles beyond their range.

After a quick turkey sandwich lunch in Sunol, we took the busy Niles Canyon and then the beautiful climb up Palomares to Castro Valley. Another stop, this time with pocket food, and our tiring legs took us up Redwood, to Pinehurst and its climaxing steep half mile. Suddenly we were back in the fog, cooling quickly. After traversing Skyline and Grizzly Peak, and nice descent down Spruce led us home. Ben had cooked legs for the evening, but feels like he is getting stronger.

Ben stats:

  • 82.97 miles
  • 380 mins
  • 6420 vert feet
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